Flashes of inspiration #12 – Challenge

Horse & rider racing. Dazzling sunlight. Classical architecture.

Welcome back to Flashes of Inspiration, your (ahem) bi-weekly flash fiction competition. It’s been a bit of a busy time at The Fine-toothed Comb of late – both professionally and personally – so my apologies for keeping you waiting so long. I’ve crossed countries to see a cousin get married, attended the WorldCon in Dublin, had a teensy bit of a breakdown with regards to the day-job, and recovered myself at a pretty magical music festival. I’m back in the saddle now and raring to go again, hence the ever-so-appropriate image up top to help inspire our next round of creativity.

Forgotten how this works? It’s simple. You have 400 words to play with, an image to give you a sense of meaning, tone, action (or whatever), and 3 key words that you must use in the text somewhere. (Variants of the words are acceptable, so long as the root remains.) Confused? Frazzled? It’s just a bit of fun. Don’t sweat it.

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Flashes of inspiration #11 – Entries

Young boy floating in a lake which reflects the cosmos.

A quiet one this week, just the two of us. It’s still working though, still getting me writing regularly instead of just thinking about maybe writing something one day. I’ve just had FB memories popping up today reminding me of one of the books I’ve actually nurtured from conception to reality, so that’s a boost for me too. Proves we can actually do something if we set out with determination and follow things through all the way. Anyway, enough bunkum from me. Here are this week’s entries for Flashes of Inspiration.

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Flashes of inspiration #11 – Challenge

Young boy floating in a lake which reflects the cosmos.

Welcome once more to Flashes of Inspiration, my bi-weekly flash fiction contest. We’ve had 10 games of free-play, and it’s been loads of fun, but I think it’s time to get a little more challenging. For the next 10 contests, I’ll be pushing out of my comfort zone and hopefully dragging you lot with me. Why? Well, it’s all good exercise. Stretching different writing muscles and so on.

So, this first challenge is to find a new perspective. Flipping expectations. Same rules as ever: 400 words, 1 picture to help inspire and 3 key words to be included in some way…

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Flashes of inspiration #10 – Entries

Young boy adrift in a stormy sea, standing in an upturned umbrella.

The lightning has struck and here we are again, caught in the flash. A few more entries this time round. Glad I pushed the boat out one more time after last week’s wee wobble. You’ll recall there’s a prize up for grabs this time round – a copy of This Twisted Earth. Well stuff it, you’re all winners. A copy of the book will be winging its way to each of our entrants this week. Thank you for joining me. I’m thinking of shaking things up a bit for the next 10 contests. Similar set-ups but with some specific targets, encouraging us to flex some different writing muscles. Until then, why not have a read of this week’s entries?

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Flashes of inspiration #8 – Entries

A woman standing by an open-casket, touching the corpse within. She catches our eye...and smiles slyly.

Time’s up. Just a couple of us this week, so no need to vote. It’s all about the exercise of writing, making inspiration a reflexive habit instead of an occasional experience. It’s funny, but my story twisted in my hands. I had thought to dive into madness and necrophilia, but those laughing eyes (and my protagonist’s wittering way) dragged things around to a different kind of darkness. And Tabby’s story? Yeah, that feels right. It’s a good ‘un. Well, why don’t I shut up and just let you read them, eh?

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Flashes of inspiration #7 – Entries

A serious-looking chimpanzee in a business suit. He holds a gun, and looks ready to use it.

Morning all. These are strange and strained times for everyone at the moment, so it’s understandably hard to commit to anything non-essential. The lack of entrants to our little contest this week shows that people have other things on their minds, and that’s cool. It means a lot to me that people generally are taking part, engaging with the images and words, sharing their talents and growing their creativity. I’ll keep doing these contests because I want to challenge myself to keep writing as much as anything, even in these little snatches. It keeps the candle aflame and builds the muscles of the imagination.

That said, we are officially taking a month off because my family and I are heading off to New Zealand. The next contest will be posted up on Thursday 9th May. Until then, keep plugging with your own creative endeavours. Oh, and here are the entries for this week. (No voting.)

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Flashes of inspiration #7 – Challenge

A serious-looking chimpanzee in a business suit. He holds a gun, and looks ready to use it.

Morning all. First up, congratulations to Caroline Polley for her victory with When In Cyberia in the last contest. Her prize will be winging its way to her soon. The creativity train never stops though, so on we go to the next competition. We have another image to get the grey cells chugging but how will you take it? Will you come up with an anthropomorphic crime drama, a Planet of the Apes pastiche, some scathing satire on capitalism, or a somewhat subtler and more twisted tale? You’ve got 400 words to play with and they must include the following three…

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